Slow To Anger

fist-1148029_1920

I found it, that dreaded puddle on the floor near the freezer in the basement. The door left open by mistake with the yellow sign on the front stating “don’t forget to close the door”…and I lost it, screaming out in frustration:

“WHO LEFT OPEN THE FREEZER!?
WHO WAS IT?
EVERYTHING IS RUINED? ALL OF IT…ALL THE FOOD! EVERYTHING!
GIVE ME A BREAK! WHAT WERE YOU THINKING? WHY?”

And the rant continued…until I scared the neighbors and everyone in the house. Looking back I acted so silly that it’s comical now, but it showed my heart at the time. I railed and rumbled like a mighty giant, but it was really immature and unhelpful. I couldn’t undo the mess, I couldn’t change the thawed food, and now I had to repair the damage done to my children and wife.

Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city (Proverbs 16:32 ESV). 

The Hebrew word for slow in this passage is arek, which means long or long suffering, patient, slow to anger. The Hebrew word for anger is aph, which means a nostril, nose, face, anger.  

Can you envision my explosion with nostrils flaring, angry faced screaming above?

But slow is better, so much better that the passage says it’s better than the mighty. The Hebrew word for better is towb, which means beautiful. Can anger be beautiful? Yes, if it’s slow anger.

The other meanings behind that word are: beautiful, best, better, bountiful, cheerful, at ease, fair word, be in favor. Thus, it’s a good thing to be slow to anger so much so that it’s better than a mighty warrior who takes a city. 

So, how is it possible to be slow to anger? The second half of the verse explains it, by ruling our spirit or temper. Ruling is the word mashal, which means to have dominion, reign, bear, cause to, have ruling have power. 

Matthew Henry’s commentary on v32 states:

To overcome our own passions, requires more steady management, than obtaining victory over an enemy.

So how is this possible? It’s God working in and through us producing the fruit of the Spirit who gives self-control. God knows the lack of self-control is one of our greatest foes. It’s more difficult than taking a well fortified city. God is slow to anger, and by His grace we can be slow to anger too.

So how do we apply this in our lives?

  • Self-control is slow, but anger is aggressive. Thus, we should do the reverse of aggressive anger, we should aggressively and actively pursue self-control.
  • How do we actively pursue self-control? Through God’s word, through prayer, through accountability, and by walking in faith despite our circumstances, by repenting when we lose it – like my rant above, and by being quick to seek forgiveness of others when we’ve lashed out in anger.

What about you?

  1. How has your life exemplified self-control in the midst of angry circumstances in the past?
  2. What are some ways you can be held accountable to this principle?
  3. How can you work to see this principle accepted and lived out by others?
Advertisements

Giving Like A Child

wrapping-paper-1874672_1920The Bible teaches us that God owns everything and if that’s true we need to move away from an ownership mentality and embrace a stewardship mentality. Behold, to the LORD your God belong heaven, and the heaven of the heavens, and the earth with all that is in it (Deuteronomy 10:14).

What about you? Is it my car, my home, my money, or is everything His?

Let’s go to David’s prayer after the people gave a freewill offering for building the Temple. This is great prayer…

Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours.

Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, and you are exalted as head above all. Both riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all. In your hand are power and might, and in your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all. And now we thank you, our God, and praise your glorious name.

But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able thus to offer willingly? For all things come from you, and of your own have we given you. For we are strangers before you and sojourners, as all our fathers were. Our days on the earth are like a shadow, and there is no abiding.O LORD our God, all this abundance that we have provided for building you a house for your holy name comes from your hand and is all your own (1 Chronicles 29:11-16).

God owns everything, and when we give, we’re giving what he has given us. We need to move away from an ownership mentality and embrace a stewardship mentality.

Let me give you an illustration that I think parents and children can both relate to. Parents, at some point in your life your child is most likely going to ask you for money in order to buy you a gift. It’s a gift you probably don’t need and may not necessarily want, but you give them the money and allow them to be stewards of it.

Why?

Because it’s not really about the amount of money or the gift is it? It’s about love, it’s a transaction of love between the parent and the child, and then the child to the parent, where the transaction stirs their hearts towards one another.

That’s what our giving to God should be like! We freely give because our hearts are stirred toward our Abba Father and His heart is stirred toward us.

So, How should we give?

2 Corinthians 9:7 – Each one must give as he has decided in his heart (it’s a transaction of love), not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver…[Like a parent loves a gift from a child].

 

 

Troubled

guy-2617866_1920

Verse 1
One of you will betray me
One of you will deny
All of you will be afraid
And scattered into the night

Pre-Chorus
I will lay down my life
I will lay down my life

Chorus
Don’t let your hearts be troubled, troubled
Don’t let your fears get in the way
Believe in God, believe also in me
And when your world starts to crumble
Don’t let your hearts be troubled

Verse 2
There is a new commandment
One that I give to you
That you love one another
With the love which I’ve loved you

Bridge
I will go and prepare a place for you
My Father’s house has many rooms
So keep my commands until I come again
And remember I am coming soon

We Ain’t Workin Anymore

landscape-696825_1920

Verse 1
3am – taking a drive – no other headlights on the road
Just you and yellow highway lines steering my thoughts every mile I go
Even though the radio’s blastin’ all I hear are your words rattlin’ my soul
“We ain’t workin anymore”

Chorus
What ever happened to “we can work through anything” 
What happened to “you’re the best thing that ever happened to me”
How could it be over after we worked so well together
I thought I had the best girl in the world, until…
“We ain’t workin anymore”

Verse 2
I passed your mama’s house and the roof I helped fix over the den
I remember our first date when your daddy said “bring her home by ten”
And there’s the restaurant where we ate, but that was back when it all began
“We ain’t workin anymore”

Bridge
How many tanks of gas will it take before I figure it all out
I’m gonna need the tires rotated and an oil change without a doubt
And if I was paid by the mile I just might could retire
But, baby, I ain’t gonna quit and I can’t be fired  

 

All of My Thorns

jesus-1186176_1920

Verse 1
What grace is this – I don’t understand
I can’t forget my part in nailing your hands
I should be the one crucified like a thief
Why should you die for me

Pre-Chorus
Surely this man was the Son of God

Chorus
The thorn in my flesh
Plus my sin and my pride
What else can I do
But give them to you
And all that I face
When I’m hurting inside
Please help me endure
Cause your grace is sufficient for…
All of my thorns

Verse 2
I’ve heard you care and you are kind
But my awful deeds are stuck deep in my mind
You said, “Father, they know not what they do”
Am I forgiven too

Bridge
I didn’t know I was on holy ground
When I forced it upon your brow
I just spit and laughed and knelt half-way down
And mocked you with my sinners crown

Be Still My Soul

pexels-photo-267423

Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side
bear patiently the cross of grief or pain
leave to thy God to order and provide
in ev’ry change He faithful will remain
Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heav’nly Friend
thro’ thorny ways leads to a joyful end

Be still, my soul: thy God doth undertake
to guide the future as He has the past
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake
all now mysterious shall be bright at last
Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know
His voice, who ruled them while He dwelt below

Be still, my soul: when dearest friends depart
and all is darkened in the veil of tears
then shalt thou better know His love, His heart
who comes to soothe thy sorrow and thy fears
Be still, my soul: thy Jesus can repay
from His own fullness all He takes away

Be still, my soul: the hour is hast’ning on
when we shall be forever with the Lord
when disappointment, grief, and fear are gone
sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored
Be still, my soul: when change and tears are past
all safe and blessed we shall meet at last

Behind the lines

One of my favorite hymns to grieve by, especially the passing of a loved one. It was written by Katharina von Schlegel in the 1700s and little is known about her life which in many ways makes it even sweeter.

Dedicated to Rowena Appleton Taylor who passed away yesterday at the age of 69.

Below is a YouTube video of a traditional a cappella boys choir, Libera, singing it complete with lyrics.

 

Powered by WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: